How to Organize Your House on a Budget

by Joy Uyeno, Demand Media
    Expensive closet systems are sometimes offered at budget prices in "as is" departments.

    Expensive closet systems are sometimes offered at budget prices in "as is" departments.

    Having an organized home doesn't have to cost a lot of money, if you're willing to put in the legwork of coming up with creative solutions and digging for bargains. By using materials you already have and utilizing online resources, you'll find items to streamline your home that are free or deeply discounted.

    Step 1

    Get rid of everything that is creating clutter in your home. Purging your unwanted items makes the biggest impact on the organization of your home. It costs nothing--in fact, you may actually make money. Hold a garage sale or list your items online. The proceeds of your sales may be used toward organization materials you want to purchase.

    Step 2

    Think outside the box--literally. You don't need to buy all new storage boxes or fancy compartmentalized containers to organize most of your items. Small bowls are excellent for sorting earrings; mason jars hold everything from small toys to cotton balls in the bathroom, and make a great decorative statement; vases make a bouquet arrangement of pens and pencils. For closet organization, head to your garage. Use spare wood braced with brackets for shelving, peg boards for hanging jewelry or shoes, and old toolboxes for storage of accessories.

    Step 3

    Go online to find deals on shelving and storage systems. Often, when people need to make room in their homes, they list single items online rather than holding a garage sale. Scour community message boards and auction sites to find items at a fraction of the cost of buying at full price. Also, sign up for a local swap website, where you can post things you no longer need and request things that you want.

    Step 4

    Shop in the "as is" department at furniture and hardware stores. Big ticket items like shelving, closet organization systems, bookshelves, chests of drawers and display centers are usually offered at deep discounts, if they have small damages such as scratches and dents. Continue to check these items regularly if you can't find everything you need the first time, as most stores refresh their inventories as new damaged items come in.

    About the Author

    Joy Uyeno has been writing about travel, food, fashion, culture and finance since 2005. For three years she wrote a column for the "Honolulu Star-Bulletin" aimed at young and first-time travelers. Her writing has appeared in several local and national publications, including the 2008 anthology "Honolulu Stories." She holds a Master of Arts in writing and publishing from Emerson College.

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